In today’s day and age, films can be shot and edited for small budgets with the help of digital technology. Filmmakers have also made low budget movies into masterpieces through viral marketing techniques on the internet. Orin Pelli’s Paranormal Activity, for example, used a viral campaign financed by Paramount to become a success. Here are a few tips for making a film on a low budget:
Focus on the story.
No one will care about the budget of the film if the story is compelling. There are a few main elements to a story or screenplay. The story needs to have characters, and those characters need to have a specific goal. The goal should be something that can be measured so that there is a point in time at which the audience can see whether or not the characters have achieved the goal. You also need a setting, which can either be typical or unusual. Equally as crucial are the actions of the characters and the dialogue.
Be frugal about props and wardrobe.
If you head to a thrift store for props, set decorations and wardrobe, you’ll be able to save a lot of money. You can also shop on Ebay or at discount stores to save a pretty penny. Look over our script and see if you can revise it to limit wardrobe changes. Rent props and borrow items whenever possible. Trade and barter with other people in the film industry for necessary gear.
Limit the number of location changes.
The two most expensive parts of a film shoot are the camera and the location. Regardless of your budget, moving your cast and crew from one location to another is bound to cost you a good deal of money and time. Try to reduce the number of times you’ll have to change locations. This will lower your budget tremendously. Take your actors to a limited location and chop them up. Make it similar to filming a stage play, but in a more dynamic and cinematic way.
Feed people well.
In addition to location changes, another thing that’s bound to cost you a lot of money is the food. You need to give your cast and crew healthy meals that provide them with energy throughout the day. Make sure you get a coffee machine and cases of bottled water. Your film team should be able to recognize that you care. Have vegan and vegetarian options as well as food that accommodates people’s allergies. Make it one person’s sole responsibility to feed people on a regular basis.
With the incredible technology that exists today, creating a film on a budget is possible. It may be challenging at time, but it will be a beneficial creative experience. And if your movie does well, you’ll be able to generate a profit off of something that didn’t cost you a bundle of money to make.